Lerk

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Lerk last won the day on June 2 2016

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About Lerk

  • Rank
    Strong Minded
  • Birthday 08/18/1960

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Houston, Texas
  • Interests
    science, energy
  • More About Me
    I am a computer programmer, married over 35 years, with two grown children. My wife's father was a minister, and our younger son is a minister. My older son, fortunately, discovered the truth awhile back. The real truth, not the "capital 'T' Truth".

    Still attending church weekly. I was actually outed last year, but knowing how badly that was going to go, I jumped back into the closet. That has turned out to be pretty comfortable because people don't expect anything from me now, religiously speaking.

    I've explained to my wife how I came to understand that it was all mythology, but she really doesn't want to believe it, and I still say a prayer with her at dinner! But we're starting to skip that more often.

    In some ways, Christianity has kept my life and my family stable, and I appreciate the regular moral training about being a responsible citizen and family member, and about caring for others. I don't know that, without the "you have to be there every week" attitude, I would ever have accepted that training and my life may not be as good as it is. Then again, my life could easily have been better, and churches certainly don't have a monopoly on morality. (In fact, sometimes they're just downright immoral.)

    On the other hand, I wish I had all of those Sundays back to spend with my family doing things that would have kept us closer. I can't really blame religion for a lack of recreation in my life, as many 3-time-a-week Christians do, in fact, spend more time in recreation with their families than I did. My problem may just be the fact that I was just too "responsible", and I don't know whether religion did that, or if I was just born that way. (I know I have always tried to do what was expected of me, even as a child, so it may just be my neurological makeup.)

    Regardless, I wish I had the Sundays back, and that all of that money given to the church could have been used for enjoying life with my family.

    Regarding how I came to realize that Jehovah is a myth like all other gods, it was in church, and I was 52 years old, when the preacher read a couple of verses of Genesis 3. Having turned there I read the entire chapter and realized, for the first time, that there was no Satan in the chapter. It was an ordinary snake! I knew I didn't believe it as written, and that neither did anyone else present. We had, all of our lives, believed that Satan had used the serpent, yet the Bible said nothing of the kind. There's not a single person in that church, not a single person I know, who believes Genesis chapter 3, yet nearly everyone says it is true.

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    No

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  1. Lerk

    Hello fellow heathens!

    "Christianism" -- I like that better than "Christianity". Welcome aboard!
  2. Lerk

    Shared Experiences and Hello

    I like to say that even if there are such things as gods, none of the ones that people believe in are real, especially the god(s) in the Bible. And the one god that Christians believe in isn't the only god that the Bible in various places says is real! The Bible starts out with multiple gods (The Most High and his sons), transitions to a place where one of those sons (Yahweh/Jehovah) is the god of Israel and way better than his brothers, then later to his brothers not being real and there being only one god, and finally to a place where there are three gods who are somehow actually part of the one god. If people understood that, they wouldn't believe in the Bible.
  3. If you're calling yourself "Weezer," should you not use a picture of Buddy Holly?
  4. Lerk

    Is there anyone there? Oh! Hello!

    Oh, well that's good!
  5. Lerk

    A solution so easy even I thought of it

    That's not even Biblical. The Bible doesn't say the Jews were to kill everyone in all of the lands around them. They were only to kill the people in the lands they were taking over.
  6. You're right. I knew it wasn't her film, but she's the one who pushed it. And it's bullshit, and I don't mind blaming her for foisting this stuff on the public. It's a big part of the reason that I think she's unfit to be president.
  7. I haven't finished reading it yet, but I know a good bit about where you're coming from. But the problem may be that you were in one of those liberal churches of Christ! If you'd been in a conservative CoC you'd have never questioned your faith! (That's a joke. I grew up in among the "antis.") Not surprisingly, there are "non-institutional" CoCs that think they're they only ones in town that are right, and that the other NI churches are liberal. And now I see there are people in mainline CoCs that refer to themselves as "sound" congregations, as opposed to some of the other mainline churches whom they now consider to be liberal! The NI church I was a member of for almost 30 years had an elder who was a former elder at a mainline church. He decided they were too liberal the day they sang "Happy Birthday" to the preacher during the service. When he came over to our church, he accepted the non-institutional positions (no support of secular institutions like orphan's homes from the church treasury, etc.) Some of the things I thought were wrong with CoC teaching when I was still a believer were abstinence from alcohol (figured that one out on a 3-week Wednesday night series on drinking, where the preacher said it was an absolute no-no and I realized his points didn't prove anything), and what I call "baptism for the remission of sins for the remission of sins." CoC says salvation is at the point of baptism, which they have good scriptural evidence for, BUT they teach that you can follow the "5 steps" and still be lost if you thought you were saved before you were baptized. I don't think they even understand what they're saying! But I feel foolish even discussing it now, because it's all bullshit anyway. It's amazing how hard it is to quit thinking about how their doctrine is wrong, even when you know there are no such things as gods and that none of it matters. I just can't get it out of my head sometimes. Anyway, I'll try to finish your article later. Good to have you here! ADDENDUM: I still haven't finished, but your point about Peter and "scripture inspired by God" where the NT hadn't even been canonized yet: What "inerrantists" believe is that God could have made it perfect, therefore he would have. God could have had the writers use their own thoughts and still made sure they said everything he wanted them to say, therefore he did. They do not look for "book, chapter, and verse" on this, even though CoC doctrine claims to "speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent." I've never actually heard anyone say "God could have, therefore he would have," but that's exactly the logical conclusion one would have to reach based on what they do teach. The Catholic Church gave us the Bible, and they don't believe that Catholics are saved or that the Catholic Church is even "The Church," yet they believe that God used the RCC to give us the Bible he wanted us to have, rather than believing that the Catholics chose the texts that best supported what they themselves were teaching and left out stuff that was contrary. Solo scriptura actually has no place in Christianity, as the scriptures were merely considered a small part of the traditions. I guess it was Martin Luther who started that nonsense. Not that he wasn't justified in condemning indulgences, but he championed the idea that "everything that pertains to life and godliness" meant the Bible, and not the Church. But hey, I'm an atheist! It doesn't matter to me! (Only for my own mental health I need to convince my preacher son that the CoC aren't the only ones being saved.) (If you didn't know, I'm in the closet. My attempt at coming out didn't go well.) Anyway, thanks for giving us a lot to think about. Hope I didn't hijack your thread.
  8. Lerk

    Is there anyone there? Oh! Hello!

    Welcome aboard. Your therapist is upset with you? The fact that you know that means you have an unqualified therapist!
  9. Half of those who are now religiously unaffiliated, but who were raised in a religion, just don't believe the bullshit anymore! That is indeed good news.
  10. And they think that "Thee" and "Thou" are formal. They aren't -- those are the familiar terms!
  11. I never heard anything like that until Oprah's "The Secret." It didn't occur to me that Christians taught stuff like that. But, then, my church didn't believe in demon possession and such, either.
  12. The Church of Christ in Dickenson, Texas, doesn't allow women to speak in the Wednesday night Bible class. (Or they didn't 35 years ago, anyway.) We visited there once (I was still a believer back then) and I was surprised that as the teacher/preacher was going around the room asking people to read from the text, he skipped the women. Took me a few minutes to figure out what was going on. In most Churches of Christ they let the women read and speak up in Bible class because they say that class isn't really part of the "assembly" and so the rule doesn't apply there. In fact, they're so legalistic that they say the announcements made at the beginning of the "regular assembly" aren't part of it, only the "five acts of worship" are part of it (singing, praying, preaching, Lord's Supper, and passing the contribution plate). But if that's the case, shouldn't a woman be able to make the announcements? Women can't even serve the communion (Lord's Supper) or pass the collection plate in most CofCs, even though that has nothing to do with "usurping authority". There are some Churches of Christ that don't have Bible classes because they don't see anywhere in the New Testament authorizing it. I think those churches are more honest than the ones that have the classes but say they don't count as part of the assembly. Realizing that was the excuse to allow the classes was one of the first chinks in my armor, so-to-speak. It was one of the first times that I realized the CoC wasn't as honest with the scriptures as they claimed to be. Looking back, I start to realize all of the little things that may have added up over the years. The cognitive dissonance that I never acknowledged until the day that I finally came to my senses.
  13. Ah! It says he saw the heavens opened... it doesn't say anyone else saw it! I never noticed that before.
  14. From a Church of Christ preacher's post on Facebook: "Even an atheist doesn't want to be punched in the face. If there is no God, then there are no moral absolutes. Yet 'no one ever hates his own flesh, but provides and cares for it' (Ephesians 5>29, HCSB). This instinct for self-preservation is the basest, most universal expression of self-love. Atheism cannot explain why or how people know it is wrong for others to hurt them." I don't know that I've ever seen a more ignorant statement. We'll disregard the mistaken idea that atheism attempts to explain anything and just deal with what he says here. Is he saying that if there were no god to give us moral absolutes, we wouldn't know that we need to respond to a punch in the face? Yes, that's exactly what he's saying. While atheism doesn't explain things, the need for self-preservation is one of the most basic drivers of evolution. And even more obvious: We can feel pain! He's saying that without a god to give us moral absolutes, we woudn't have the urge to retaliate because we wouldn't understand that the other person had no right to cause us injury. Christianity, on the other hand, eschews the idea of self-love. Christianity says "turn the other cheek" when someone punches you. (And while there may be expedient reasons for doing so, it is not our nature.) That instinct for self-preservation is anti-Christian. To top it off, the absolute statement that no one ever hated their own flesh is false, as well. It may be true that most people do not hate themselves, but it is not true that no-one hates themselves. He goes on to say "the universal law of 'ought' shows 'the work of the Law written in their hearts' (Romans 2:15), which points to a universal lawgiver." Again, this is a statement that sounds "thoughty" but which turns out to be shallow, what Daniel Dennett refers to as a "deepity". Yes, we have a sense of right and wrong, but if a person thinks this wouldn't have evolved, they don't really know much about evolution or about memetics. Organisms live to reproduce if they have a way of defending themselves. Societies thrive if the members of the society defend one another. The Bible even says so: Ecclesiastes 4:12 -- " And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken." That's memetics in a nutshell, right in their own "holy" book! When people started farming, when they became stationary and began to live in communities, writing was developed and rules were written down. Communities where everyone pitched in to hunt and farm, and for defense, thrived. And while selfish individuals never disappeared and could actually thrive within a community, the community itself had to comprise mostly altruistic individuals in order to thrive, which resulted in our current mix of individuals today, comprising mostly altruistic people with some selfish people in the mix. This isn't hard, but if you start by saying there's a creator and that you must base all of your beliefs on that, then you have to come up with deepities to allow yourself to continue without experiencing significant cognitive dissonance, and you never think you need to find the truth or question your beliefs. You're looking for a quick and dirty "answer" that doesn't have to be a real answer at all, just a place for you to stop thinking about the subject. If you start with the real world and try to understand why things are the way they are using forensics, you'll always have unanswered questions and you'll sometimes have to change your beliefs, but you'll generally be on the right track and there will be a lot that you can know for certain. But you never stop thinking about the subject because you have a thirst for knowledge.
  15. Lerk

    Blow Up

    We had a blow-up last night. Maybe I overreacted. She was reading some apologetics stuff and wanting to order a book from Amazon with a title something like "100 OT Prophecies Fulfilled By Jesus," but it was only sold as a used book by 3rd party sellers, and there were actually a couple of different books and a tract with the same title but different authors. She hadn't ordered anything via Amazon by 3rd party sellers before, so it confused her and she was asking me about it. No problem -- happy to help her find what she's looking for. Then she hit me with "do you know about the prophecy about Bethlehem Ephrathah?" Well, I've read that stuff before and don't specifically remember what I've read about that, so I wasn't prepared to answer. I don't remember what transpired, exactly, but it ended up with me feeling like I just couldn't stand to be there. We've been married 36 years and I've never felt that way before. She has packed her bags a few times, a couple of them when the kids were in elementary school, but I thought she was just doing it as a threat. I talked her out of leaving those times. Last night I found out that it was real. I don't want to have those discussions. She's truly afraid that if I die I'll wind up in Hell, so she sees the discussions as imperative. I get that -- I used to believe. But I go to church (more often than she does) and I live my life as if I am still a Christian. I actually told her that if "God" were real and if he would send a person to Hell who lives like a Christian, simply because that person doesn't really believe in him, then that's an evil god. She just keeps thinking "what if I can point out something you weren't aware of that will make you change your mind?" (Her words.) I didn't want to leave because I was angry; it was because I could not bear the conversation and I could not bear to be there at that moment. I'm not sure I can explain the difference, but it was not because of anger. It was more of an empty feeling, like I didn't belong there. I got a suitcase down and took a couple of items off of hangers, thinking I would spend the night at a nearby hotel. Interestingly, she didn't try to talk me out of it. But we talked about what had just happened and I didn't pack anything. Somehow we both managed to sleep all night. Today I called her while on my lunch break and she apologized. I told her again that I understood where she was coming from. I do! But I don't know if it's possible for her to see where I'm coming from. So once or twice a year we have these blow-ups. I cannot say everything I'm thinking. One of our sons is a non-believer and it tears her up to think that his daughter might grow up to be a non-believer as well, even though they're taking her to church at the moment. What I didn't say was that I doubt that our preacher-son's kids will still believe by the time they're 30. There's just very little chance of that in today's world, because no matter how much you teach them your version of the Bible stories and try to teach them not to investigate outside of apologetics material, once they're grown they'll probably find out the truth. That's the risk you take if you're a fundamentalist. Come to think of it, the atheist son and his wife are going to a Presbyterian church (my wife doesn't know that), and if they don't teach a literalist version of the Bible, it could be that that grandchild will grow up to be a Christian and the others will deconvert at some point. Anyway, the blow-up is over and I expect a long period of time without any of that discussion. It just takes a few days for my heart to stop pounding.